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Review: Sky Ray Seeker Missiles vs. the standard Seeker (from vehicle kits)
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Old 20 Jul 2006, 17:58   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Review: Sky Ray Seeker Missiles vs. the standard Seeker (from vehicle kits)

Hi everyone! I guess I'm a fanatic for details, but here goes:

I didn’t see anything comparing these two items and when I purchased the Sky Ray Tank, I thought them different enough to point out a couple items to people that have not yet purchased the model.

For those of you who haven’t seen them (or haven’t really looked at them yet), here is the basic breakdown of the differences:

‘Some assembly required’
1a) The Seeker Missiles of the Sky Ray are a two part model (Forward section is the fuel housing, guidance system and warhead. Aft section is the engines and air intake.)
1b) The original Seeker Missile (provided in any vehicle kit) comes as a singe piece.

‘Difference in design reflects a difference in purpose’
2a) The Sky Ray’s Seekers are exactly the same width in the body, but the engine’s side air intakes make it appear slightly broader when compared side by side. In overall length it’s about 10% longer due to the engine casing. It also bears forward directional control fins (usually needed for faster reactions on an interception missile for air-to-air targets or other fast movers). The only problem I see with the design is a semantic one with the hard point mounting being replaced with a vertical stabilizing fin (making it hard to use as an under-mounted vehicle Seeker), that’s on both top and bottom of the missile.
2b) The standard Seeker has an under-slung rear mounted air inlet and rear stabilizer fins (very reminiscent of an American Tomahawk cruise missiles) and has a more pronounced hard point mounting on top (making for easier mounting under a vehicle’s chassis). Be aware that the rear stabilizer actually makes this Seeker wider than the Sky Ray's, so you need to check your mounting points more carefully with this missile.

‘Its all in the details’
3a) The Sky Ray’s missile (as an updated sculpt for the new tank) has slightly better Tau styling in its panel lines (IMHO of course), actually details the air intakes with some horizontal inlet vanes and has a slightly better exhaust port (although the actual rear of the missile is a blank face due to the casting limits, this can be easily fixed with some quick slicing of a piece of plasticard to make exhaust vents, a THIN layer of green-stuff to act as bonding agent and then more plasticard to make an extended cowling. HOWEVER, the vertical fin needs some filling work done on the joint between the engine section and main body or else it will stand out as an ‘unusual’ gap. The actual gap between the two sections can easily be changed into panel lining by doing another small bit of etching for the typical ‘tab’ panel markings or filled in completely to cover the joint at the same time as you fill the stabilizing vane.
3b) The original Seeker just needs the mould lines cleaned up, but lacks a lot of the subtle details of the new Seeker. If you’re looking for a fast build and paint piece, this is your baby.

‘How fast can I get this party started?’
4a) The Sky Ray’s Seeker requires significantly more mould cleanup due to its two part nature (and the casting of the engine section having a ‘vertical’ moulding line means you have to clean all 4 sides carefully to get rid of all the excess).
4b) The basic Seeker has one continuous mould line around the middle section that is easily cleaned up in 1-2 minutes with a simple craft knife draw.

‘Removable mountings?’
5a) The Sky Ray’s Seeker has an un-even fin stabilizer, so to make it easily mountable to a magnet (or to just glue it to the bottom of a vehicle if you’re taking the easy route), you need to build up (or cut it down to) a level surface. I’m looking at mounting a piece of paper clip in the fin on mine so that it will mount to a magnet for easy marking on firing by removing the missile (and to allow me to use it as a standard Seeker missile on my other vehicles!).
5b) The basic Seeker has a nice even hard-mount point that is easily fitted to the Sky Ray’s launcher rails, glued to the bottom of a vehicle or wired with a paper clip to make a magnetic mounting point (making it much quicker to setup).

Overall, I like the significant changes in looks enough that I plan on using the Sky Ray’s Seeker missiles for all my vehicles, but then again, I’m only buying Sky Rays to make all of my of my vehicles as multi-role (Sky Ray/Hammer Head/Devilfish) due to how GW packages the kit so I'll have a lot of extra Seekers normally.

I hope you find this review useful (even if I can’t post pictures right now due to my job’s restrictions on what sites I can use.) If someone can host the pictures, I’ll take some and send them via E-mail so that you can see what I’m describing, otherwise you’ll have to wait until I get back to home port before I can post them. And I do intend to do a small documentary on the setup/cleanup I’m doing for my missiles if anyone wants to see it.
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Old 21 Jul 2006, 12:59   #2 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Review: Sky Ray Seeker Missiles vs. the standard Seeker (from vehicle kits)

Thanks for that, Nice review!

I just got hold of a Sky-ray kit yesterday, only had a quick look at the sprues so far, but the new seekers are indeed noticably more detailed than the old ones.
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